Addressing Nursing Students' Stigmatizing Beliefs Toward Mental Illness

Salisbury University Depatment of Nursing, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21801, USA.
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services (Impact Factor: 0.72). 10/2009; 47(10):34-42; quiz 50-1. DOI: 10.3928/02793695-20090902-05
Source: PubMed


Implementing teaching methods that address nursing students' stigmatizing beliefs toward people with mental illness is important for nurse educators. The purpose of this article is to describe how a creative reflective learning project was used to encourage nursing students to express feelings about working with clients with mental illness, address stigma, and facilitate development of empathy. While working with a client with mental illness over a 4-week period, students maintained a reflective journal exploring their assumptions about mental illness. In addition, students created an individual project to depict their understanding of what it was like for their client to live with a mental illness. Examples of students' reflections and descriptions of their projects are presented to demonstrate how this experience affected students' views of mental illness.

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